Monday, February 12, 2018

Just a Little Bit Busy

 Sickness abounds this winter. The boys have all missed a few days of school the last of January and first of February culminating in the Friday of the week when I was called in to get Christian from Pre-K mid morning and then later to get Zane who was coughing his head off and had a fever.  When I arrived at the school there was Barry, too.  He was still coughing, but no fever.  With the scare we are all having with Influenza A, it's no wonder they wanted to get rid of them. 
Jim was sick the weekend before and I was right there in the middle of the three boys.  I just kept on going on moms (and grammas) so when they are sick and have kids to look after. I went to bed right after supper a couple of nights. 

This is what I wrote that week in my family letters:
"My mouse (computer-wise) has died. Again.  Either that or the three batteries I scavenged from  Lorene’s junk drawer have also died, which I doubt.  I can’t play my games without my mouse.  Well, I can, but it takes a long time and now I will have to buy a new one. Again.  I don’t know how many I’ve purchased in the last year.  I think, however one of the ones I tossed shouldn’t have been.  When I figured out it likely was a battery problem, it was out in the trash.  There is a limit on how much dumpster diving I will do, and a mouse isn’t it. 
We’ve had a couple days with 40 degree highs, but with the nights still plunging down to the teens, our snow isn’t melting very quickly.  there is an enormous pile in the lot next to Lorene’s and Zane spends most of his after school time over there.  Tomorrow the high is supposed to be about 19.  I read an article in the paper with (I think) Nebraska’s main weather expert, that Nebraska can’t lay claim to a climate, being hemmed in by cold to the north and head to the south.  We have such a variation of snowfall, rainfall, heat, cold, drought—sometimes all in one day—that about the only thing to expect is change."


After this was all written and I fretted and stewed for over a day about this mouse situation, it occurred to me that I should put the little thingy that goes into the USB port into another one, since that worked another time.  I reached for it....GONE!!! After turning my bag upside down, searching in all the corners, I called Lorene, "oh, we have it here," she says nonchalantly. She could have told me!!  Of course, she knew nothing of my panicked search.

At the end of all the sickness hullabaloo, Barry was the only one able to wrestle in their first tournament.  

3rd Place!!




The next week the boys were out of school for two days due to Parent Teacher Conferences so I thought one day we should roll out cookie dough and made a huge mess cutting them out, frosting them and applying sprinkles.  
So, we did.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find the rolling pin.
 (Later, when we asked Lorene where she kept it, she had no idea where it was.) 
Thus, we just smashed the dough flat with our hands and proceeded to make thicker than usual cookies and decided we liked them better that way anyway.   
They went a bit overboard on the candy pearls.





The next day, Jim took pity on me and came with me.  He played Monopoly all morning with Zane and since Zane ended up with Park Place and Boardwalk and whatever the green properties are on the same side, he won, after much wrangling on both sides, and a little grace given by Papa early on in the game.  


After lunch, Barry and Papa did the dishes and we packed up to spend the rest of the afternoon at the Children's museum.






Barry was tidying up the store.



Christian laid carpet in the building zone.







All was well and good until Mom comes to pick up the boys and we've lost Zane.  I walked around once, Jim walked around twice. Lorene walked once, no Zane.  (This is not a big place.)
Lorene and Jim walked again around, in opposite directions and this time she heard his voice.  He was in an enormous box of those colorful building blocks that some kid's Dad built.  I saw two kids in there when I went by, but just assumed the dad has two kids.  Zane says he called, but it is no surprise I didn't hear him.  
As we headed out the door Barry shrieked that his hat was missing.  He took in there a John Deere ball cap and during the time we were there, I had it, Jim had it, and at the last Barry had it on his head.  Then we forgot all about it.  After reporting the loss to the staff, I started off to take a look around.  The young woman I spoke to soon was chasing after me saying, "I know where it will be!" This was the end of the day and they were tidying up.  Sure enough, there it was in the dress-up clothes in the farm area.  So, we all went home happy.  We went home tired. 


I finished that week by doing my grocery shopping booted, hatted, coated, scarfed and mittened in zero degree weather.
Then, I decided to make tomato soup from the frozen tomatoes and got 21 pints. I rashly decided to 

make the last six gallons of frozen tomatoes in the freezer into juice in the middle of the afternoon and got 11 quarts of juice that I finished at 8:30 pm.

I attempted to make Swiss cheese and mushroom burgers for lunch but my cheese sauce wask a bust.
I don't know if I needed to use the whole block of cheese or if the cheese didn't have enough "Swiss " taste. I used the leftover, which was really just white sauce with the cheese in it to make an egg casserole we love.  I sauté onions and mushrooms with ham or sausage, when the eggs are barely done, mix them with the cheese gravy and bake.  I use 9 eggs and we have three breakfast's worth.  After it sits in the fridge overnight I need to stick it in the oven as soon as I hop out of bed to get a half hour of cooking time.

Jim has finished his deer blind and got it out of the shop.  That gives him more room to move around in there.  He also dismantled half of his painting/sand blasting booth since he's done painting the frame of the "B". Now it's back to sandblasting and painting parts.  His dad added an hour
meter into the dash and Jim took it to a jeweler to see if he could fix it. He said he could try, for $300 and then no guarantees.  So, after paying the $10 fee to get the glass off, Jim decided that he would put it back in unworkable, or...do some more research among people who repair old John Deere tractors.

I finally quit coughing my lungs up, so Lynette felt safe to come to our house for a meal, although my voice is still iffy so I made lunch (I have been totally corrupted by the current generation, unwillingly, I might add.) for Lynette and Anthony.  As I was making Sour Cream Enchiladas, I noticed I forgot to buy the green chilies for the sauce. The problem was forgetting to put them on the list and when in the grocery store thinking of meatloaf rather than enchiladas.  So, we had green bean casserole (still thinking meatloaf) and chilie-less sauce and strawberry/banana salad because I forgot to put lettuce on the list.  I made a bean enchilada for me and I didn't have to adjust the sauce.  For dessert we had marble cake with chocolate frosting.  I was in the store and the mix jumped in my cart.  It brought back some lovely memories and we haven't had cake forever.



Last week I made a blueberry pudding.  That's what the recipe said, but it was really blueberry cobbler and Jim and I ate
it all ourselves.  Blueberries were on sale this week, so I bought some more, to make another.

I also made hamburger buns, and a few dinner rolls on Saturday.  With the rest of the dough I made raisin cinnamon bread and we ate the whole loaf over the weekend.  YUM!




Thursday, February 1, 2018

Eggs-zactly!

Photography in the hands of anyone under 10 is suspect at best.  I've been going through my photos this morning and deleting all the fuzzy ones, the twenty of stuffed animals, the ones of the floor, the ones of kid's nostrils and especially the ones of me.  I do not look well in the four or five layers of clothing I wear at Lorene's or taken unawares.

This one, which was taken by Zane with my approval is the best one showing the stair steps of size going on with this bunch.  There was a better one of me, but Christian's head wasn't there. 


Our chickens are laying again because we've had a few nice days.  Our Americana hen is doing her job and producing green eggs.  
And what we do with eggs; green or brown or white, is make egg sandwiches with cheese. 







Yum!


I love the way kid's minds work.  This is a portrait of Gramma.  
I'm wearing a long two-color dress and have long hair. 


Friday, January 26, 2018

Doughnuts and Darlings

I am at Lorene's this morning.  I just picked Christian up from Pre-K and fired up the computer to finish the blog post I started yesterday.  It's gone.  All the writing, all the pictures, I will have to start over.  
We had two weekend snow storms that made a sandwich out of this week.  The first one resulted in a late start for the school kids as well as Lorene so I was able to go to Pleasanton in the daylight for a change.  The second one for which we were wound up to fever-pitch with expectation was rather a bust for us.  After hearing the blizzard would start in the early Sunday morning, then 10:00, then 3:00, then 6:00, then midnight, we went to bed with no snow on the ground but everything shut down on Monday in readiness.  I was looking forward to a day off, but also mentally preparing myself for a if-this-snow-doesn't-come-I better-be-ready-to-go attitude.  
We woke at 6 o'clock a.m. to a raging blizzard.  We couldn't see the lights of town.  We could hardly see the neighbors.  The blizzard was over by noon, resulting in 3 or 4 inches of snow.  
Lorene got double that and my folks got 12".  I worked my tail off that day with laundry and office work and catch-up housekeeping.  I planned meals and made doughnuts.   We had some special visitors for the week so I needed to be on top of the food around here.  




After the first snow we went to the eagle viewing station near Lexington.  With Jim's binoculars we saw 10 bald eagles and some ducks.  
This is as good as I can do with out a telephoto lens.


Bufflehead Duck


In the evening we had Nathan, Lily and Paislee over for supper.  Paislee is nearly 18 months and she's not a baby anymore.  She runs and climbs and investigates everything!  





Cheese!


We had hamburgers, with store bought buns.  I tried to make buns the day before but the yeast must have been bad because the dough didn't rise, or at least not enough to make decent buns.  I was in a hurry and tried to bake them.  I shouldn't have bothered. I put some of the unbaked dough back in the bread machine with more yeast.  It rose, and I forgot about it and left it out all night, so that was a wasted effort.  Too much rising is about as bad as not enough. 

It was nice to see some days this week about freezing.  It did make for a bunch of sloppiness underfoot, but also encouraged the boys to play outside in the snow.  They wanted to build forts and tunnels, but there wasn't quite that much, but there was plenty to dig and throw and sled on.  









Zane is working on a tunnel.








He wanted to be pulled out of his tunnel.  I don't know if it was harder after he turned onto his back, or if he just wanted a pull out.


So Barry had a try, but I had to help him. 



I love to see these boys working with and for each other. 






There is a slope on the property next to them so they spend considerable time out there with there sleds and the neighbors as well.